Participants: Pr. E.C. Polite
Series Code: HG
Program Code: HG000003
00:35 Turn to the Lord now that we are thankful
00:38 for what He's done for us.
00:40 I just want to praise You forever and ever and ever.
00:44 Let's sing it together.
00:46 I just want to praise You
00:49 Forever and ever and ever
00:57 For all You've done
01:01 You've done for me
01:06 Blessings and glory and honor
01:11 They all belong to You
01:16 Thank You Jesus for blessing me
01:22 Let's sing it again saying...
01:24 I just want to praise You I just want to praise You
01:27 Forever Forever
01:30 And ever
01:31 And ever
01:33 And ever
01:34 And ever
01:35 For all
01:37 For all
01:38 You've done for me
01:44 Blessings and glory
01:45 Blessings and glory
01:47 And honor
01:48 And honor
01:50 They all belong to You
01:55 Thank You Jesus for blessing me
02:02 Take it up, take it up a little higher saying...
02:05 I just want to praise You
02:08 Forever and ever and ever
02:15 For all You've done for me
02:23 Sing blessings and glory
02:24 Blessings and glory
02:26 And honor
02:27 And honor
02:29 They all belong to You
02:34 Thank you Jesus for blessing me
02:41 Take it up a little higher, saying
02:44 I just want to praise You
02:47 Forever and ever and ever
02:54 For all You've done for me
03:02 Sing blessings and glory
03:03 Blessings and glory
03:05 And honor
03:06 And honor
03:08 They all belong to You
03:11 Sing blessings and glory
03:13 Blessings and glory
03:15 And honor
03:16 And honor
03:18 They all belong to You
03:21 Sing blessings and glory
03:23 Blessings and glory
03:24 And honor
03:26 And honor
03:27 They all belong to You
03:31 Sing blessings and glory
03:32 Blessings and glory
03:34 And honor
03:35 And honor
03:37 They all belong to You
03:41 Thank you Jesus
03:42 Thank you Jesus
03:45 For blessing me
03:50 Sing halleluiah
03:55 I just want to praise You forever and ever and ever.
04:00 And if you believe that we should praise Him
04:03 forever and ever and ever,
04:06 then I need the church to say...
04:10 And if You believe that He's gonna bless you in 2012
04:14 with an abundance so big,
04:16 you won't have room enough to receive it,
04:19 I need for the church to say...
04:21 Amen. Halleluiah.
04:24 Let's sing this song
04:27 and it's the simple song just says...
04:31 Let the church say amen
04:39 Let the church
04:42 Let us say amen
04:46 God has spoken
04:50 So let the church
04:53 Let us say amen
04:58 Everybody in the building
05:00 Let the church
05:02 Let the church say amen
05:07 Let us say amen
05:09 Let the church say amen
05:15 God is so good
05:17 God is so good
05:20 Let the church say amen
05:22 Let us say amen
05:27 And this is what I want you to say amen to...
05:32 When you are hungry
05:36 When you are thirsty
05:40 You're in trouble
05:52 You're in doubt
05:55 When you are lonely
05:59 When you are sad
06:02 You need to say amen
06:07 Say amen
06:14 Just say amen
06:17 God has spoken
06:21 Let the church say amen
06:29 You all sing with me let the church say amen
06:32 Let the church say amen
06:40 Let the church say amen
06:47 God has spoken
06:51 Let the church say amen
06:59 One more time let the church say amen
07:02 Let the church say amen
07:09 Let the church say amen
07:10 Let the church say amen
07:16 God has spoken
07:18 God has spoken
07:21 Let the church say amen
07:29 Let us say amen
07:33 God has spoken
07:36 Let the church say
07:45 For salvation and glory
07:49 We're gonna praise the Lord right here
07:51 Honor and power unto the Lord, our God
07:58 For the Lord, our God is mighty
08:00 For the Lord, our God is mighty
08:03 And the Lord, our God is omnipotent
08:05 The Lord, our God is omnipotent
08:08 The Lord The Lord, our God,
08:14 He is wonderful
08:18 Come on, altos
08:19 All praises
08:23 Be to the King of Kings
08:30 And the Lord, our God
08:35 He is wonderful
08:41 Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
08:48 Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
08:52 And the Lord, our God
08:55 He is wonderful
08:59 Come on, tenors, sing the song
09:03 Hallelujah, salvation and glory
09:10 And the Lord, our God
09:14 He is wonderful
09:16 He is wonderful
09:20 All praises
09:21 All praises be to the King of Kings
09:24 Hallelujah, salvation and glory
09:31 And the Lord, our God
09:33 Honor and power
09:36 He is wonderful
09:40 Come on, church. Sing it.
09:42 All praises be to the King of Kings
09:44 Hallelujah, salvation and glory
09:51 And the Lord, our God,
09:57 He is wonderful
10:01 All praises be
10:03 All praises be to the King of Kings
10:08 Salvation and glory
10:13 Honor and power we love You, Lord
10:17 He is
10:26 Hallelujah, Hallelujah
10:57 Is Thy faithfulness
11:03 O God
11:07 My Father
11:13 There is no shadow
11:20 Of turning
11:24 With Thee
11:30 Thou changest not
11:36 Thy compassions
11:39 They fail not
11:44 As Thou hast been
11:50 Thou forever
11:53 Thou forever
11:56 Wilt be
12:02 'Cause great is
12:05 Thy faithfulness
12:11 Great is
12:14 Thy faithfulness
12:23 By morning
12:29 New mercies
12:33 I see
12:42 I have needed
12:50 Thy hand
12:53 Hath provided
13:00 Great is
13:05 Thy faithfulness
13:12 Oh, oh, Lord,
13:17 Unto, unto me
13:28 Morning by morning
13:35 New mercies
13:40 I see
13:44 Oh, Lord
13:50 Great is Thy faithfulness
13:56 Unto me
14:00 Oh, Lord, unto me
14:07 Unto me
14:09 Oh, Lord
14:17 God is
14:19 Oh, Lord
14:22 God is
14:27 He is faithful
14:34 God is
14:36 Oh, yes, God is
14:38 God is
14:44 He is faithful
14:47 I know He is
14:51 God is
14:54 So faithful
14:55 God is
15:00 He is faithful
15:06 Great is Thy faithfulness
15:12 Unto me
15:17 Oh, Lord, our God
15:21 Unto me
15:25 Oh, Lord
15:32 Great is
15:34 Thy faithfulness
15:40 Great is
15:43 Is Thy faithfulness
15:49 Morning by morning
15:55 His mercies
16:00 I see
16:06 Great is Thy faithfulness
16:12 Unto me
16:16 Oh, Lord
16:21 Unto me
16:25 Oh, Lord
16:29 Unto me
16:33 Oh, Lord
16:38 Unto me
16:42 Oh, Lord
16:46 Unto me
16:50 Great is Thy faithfulness
16:54 Morning by morning
16:58 New mercies I see
17:03 Oh, Lord Unto me
17:08 Oh, Lord
17:12 Unto me
17:20 Unto me Lord.
17:26 I certainly appreciated the worship
17:30 in our service today.
17:33 I appreciated the ministry of music today.
17:38 I appreciated the call today.
17:41 By the way, you're gonna be home next week.
17:47 And of course,
17:51 it's always good
17:54 when the saints of God just pause
17:56 and thank God for another year's journey.
18:03 As Donna and I were coming to service this morning,
18:06 we had to pause for a funeral train.
18:14 It occurred to me that
18:17 this close to the end of the year
18:19 somebody didn't make it.
18:27 This close and they got put to sleep.
18:32 And yet, God allow us to come today.
18:37 We move, breathe, have heartbeat
18:41 and we all not take that for granted.
18:46 Because although the New Year starts in just a few hours.
18:51 Just as quickly our past can you slip out.
18:56 And the next choice,
18:59 the next voice that you will hear
19:02 will be that of the father
19:05 speaking eternal commendation
19:10 or eternal condemnation.
19:17 I've been led today to divert your attention
19:19 to Revelation the third chapter...
19:26 Revelation the third chapter, I want to keep a promise
19:29 I made to you early about the sermon.
19:33 I was going to put together
19:37 Revelation the third chapter.
19:41 We're going to begin with verse 14.
19:44 Revelation the third chapter,
19:49 beginning with verse 14.
19:53 There you'll find these words recalling...
20:00 "And unto the angel of the church
20:03 of the Laodiceans write,
20:06 These things saith the Amen,
20:09 the faithful and true witness,
20:12 the beginning of the creation of God."
20:15 What does he say?
20:18 "I know thy works, that thou art neither," what?
20:23 "Cold nor hot: I would that thou was cold or hot.
20:30 So then because thou art lukewarm,
20:32 and neither cold nor hot," what will I do?
20:37 "Spue thee out of my mouth.
20:40 Because thou sayest, I," what? "Rich."
20:43 What else? "Increased with goods."
20:44 And what else?
20:46 "And knowest not that thou art," what?
20:49 What else? "Miserable."
20:50 What else? "Poor."
20:52 What else? "Blind."
20:53 What else? "Naked."
20:54 "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,
21:00 that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment,
21:05 thou mayest be clothed,
21:06 and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear,
21:11 and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve,
21:14 that thou mayest see."
21:18 Think with me on the theme,
21:21 "Lasiks for Laodicea."
21:23 All right.
21:27 In the November issue of Harvard Business Review,
21:33 Kevin Peters, the president of
21:37 Office Depot for North America
21:42 was looking one day at some startling statistics.
21:47 He noticed that their sales were dipping
21:52 but their customer satisfaction scores
21:55 were going through the roof.
21:59 He's restless, kept wondering, what is this all about?
22:02 And in order to get a hand of all the situation,
22:06 he decide to do an undercover boss.
22:12 He went to 17 of his stores in 15 states
22:18 and just acted like one of the casual shoppers.
22:23 He noticed while in his store that there was a problem.
22:28 The problem was this,
22:31 the customer satisfaction survey
22:34 did not ask the right questions.
22:38 The questions that were on the survey said,
22:41 "Were the floors clean?"
22:45 "Were the bathrooms clean?"
22:49 And unless you got an emergency,
22:51 you wouldn't know about the bathrooms, would you?
22:56 He determined that what they were missing
23:01 is what customers really care about.
23:04 They care about the lack of customer-friendly service.
23:10 The inability to find what they needed,
23:13 or being able to solve the problem
23:16 that they came into the store with.
23:18 And so Peters came up with three strategies
23:23 to ameliorate the situation.
23:24 The first strategy was this,
23:26 he reduced the size of the store
23:28 by providing less of the items that people didn't need.
23:34 The second strategy,
23:36 he improved the in store customer service experience,
23:41 which can be a real deal breaker
23:44 in a commodities-driven society.
23:49 And third, he looked beyond office products
23:54 to see what other products he could provide the customers.
23:58 And so he came up with copying and printing and shipping
24:02 and installing software and fixing computers.
24:06 All because Kevin Peters was ready to look at himself
24:12 and ask the right questions.
24:17 I once heard that an unquestioned faith
24:21 isn't worth having
24:24 and an unquestioned life isn't worth living.
24:29 Let me say that again.
24:31 An unquestioned faith isn't worth having
24:36 and an unquestioned life isn't worth living.
24:40 Today we stand on because of what is arguably
24:46 the most introspective holiday of the year,
24:50 New Year's Day.
24:53 Like our quarterly communion services,
24:57 New Year's is a natural time for introspection.
25:02 Introspection is the process of looking honestly
25:07 and openly and objectively at whom?
25:15 It's being willing to ask the question
25:17 what do I have to do to get better?
25:20 What do I have to change about myself?
25:24 How can I progress in the new year?
25:29 Introspection gives birth to resolutions.
25:35 In the January issue of Time Magazine for this past year,
25:40 Time Magazine listed the top ten resolutions
25:44 that people periodically make and break.
25:51 I want to bring it to you, I want to present it to you
25:53 in Debbie Devlin type fashion, is that all right?
25:57 Number ten, drink less.
26:03 Number nine, you all don't have to follow Debbie.
26:12 Number nine, volunteer more.
26:16 Number eight, be less stressed.
26:23 Number seven, travel to new places.
26:27 Number six, spend more time with the family.
26:32 Number five, get out of debt and save some money.
26:40 Number four, eat healthier.
26:44 Number three, learn something new.
26:48 Number two, quit smoking.
26:52 What do you think number one was?
26:56 Lose weight.
27:00 Lose weight.
27:04 I've guys come and tell me
27:06 they were cleaning up their closets,
27:09 get rid of some clothes,
27:13 as if they're gonna lose weight and get back here.
27:17 You've been fat for 10 years.
27:21 Enjoy yourself.
27:24 Be fat, be happy.
27:27 Give it a impulse that body will screw it.
27:30 Listen, listen, I'm told,
27:36 I'm told that resolutions
27:39 rarely get out of the month of January.
27:45 Perhaps it's because researchers say
27:48 that it takes somewhere between 21 and 28 days
27:52 to form a habit.
27:55 The start is good.
27:58 You end up beginning the year by saying,
28:00 "I'll read the Bible through."
28:03 And you wake up on the first and by the Sabbath,
28:07 you'd have missed chapter 3, 4 and 5,
28:16 so you start up with 6 and 7
28:20 but you are too discouraged to go on because you know
28:24 you missed 4, 5 and 6 and so you just give it up and say,
28:28 "I'll start again next year."
28:35 There was a researcher by the name of Ann Graybiel
28:37 of MIT's McGovern Institute,
28:39 whose research shown
28:41 that neurons change their firing patterns
28:45 when habits are learned, and then change them again
28:49 when habits are unlearned.
28:53 The interesting thing about that is
28:55 no habit is ever forgotten.
28:59 Whatever you have formed into a habit,
29:02 it stays there for life.
29:06 You hope that their only neurons
29:08 that are firing are the good ones,
29:10 isn't that right?
29:12 But every now and then,
29:14 something will trigger the old neurons.
29:18 It's like a car that's been sitting up in the driveway
29:21 and you hadn't started it up in a long time.
29:24 In fact, your wife is bugging you
29:27 to get that thing out of the driveway
29:29 'cause it's been sitting up so long.
29:31 And you go out there and stick the key in
29:33 and you just--
29:36 and all of a sudden it turns over,
29:39 scares you to death and the neighbors.
29:45 You thought it was dead
29:48 but there's still some life left in the engine.
29:52 The same is true with the bad habits that we create.
29:56 You think they're dead
29:58 because you haven't taken a trip in 20 years
30:01 but let something happen in rut and you get stressed.
30:08 And all of a sudden you wondered
30:10 whatever happened to your good buddy Johnny.
30:15 Somebody ought to know what that means, don't you?
30:23 He just got it.
30:27 It's still there.
30:30 It's still there. It hasn't gone anywhere.
30:36 Unfortunately, unfortunately,
30:41 introspection sometimes gives birth to recriminations.
30:48 It gives birth to resolutions
30:50 but sometimes it also gives birth to recriminations.
30:57 Remember now, I said that introspection
30:59 was the process of looking at who?
31:05 Looking at yourself.
31:07 But because we have powerful subconscious filters,
31:11 our introspection often evolves
31:15 from being an experience of self examination
31:18 toward experience of other examination.
31:24 I want to see what you've got to do to change.
31:27 I want to see what you need to do to improve.
31:32 Somehow along the way the spotlight and the camera
31:35 gets off from us and it goes to somebody else.
31:42 What's interesting about that is,
31:45 that when we move the spotlight off of ourselves,
31:49 we miss a very rich and deep blessing
31:53 that I'm going to pull out in just a moment.
31:56 So stay with me.
31:59 The last time I looked in the dictionary,
32:02 the word introspection began with an I, not Y.
32:09 Therefore, the camera has to stay on me
32:14 if I am ever going to see the blessing
32:19 that God has in store for me.
32:22 Why are we reluctant to keep the spotlight on ourselves?
32:27 Could it be that if we see ourselves too clearly
32:31 that we might depress ourselves?
32:35 Why does it seem easier to focus on the foibles
32:39 of others to the discard of our own?
32:45 Could it be, could it be that introspection exposes
32:50 the low self esteem I've had about myself?
32:53 So in order to feel good about myself,
32:55 I got to find something wrong with somebody else,
32:58 so that I could feel good about myself.
33:01 Why is it?
33:04 Why is it that when it comes to introspection,
33:09 our visual acuity is sometimes diminished
33:13 but all of a sudden,
33:14 our visual acuity is increased exponentially
33:18 when I see something in somebody else.
33:24 No matter how we shift the spotlight or the camera,
33:31 God really knows what's happening with us
33:36 and so He shifts the spotlight and the camera back to us.
33:43 Here it is, Revelation, the third chapter.
33:45 He puts it back on us.
33:47 Revelation, the third chapter.
33:50 In Revelation the third chapter,
33:51 we are introduced to a group of people called who?
33:54 The Laodiceans. The Laodiceans.
33:58 They are a steady in contrast.
34:00 Look at verse 17 so you can see here.
34:02 Look at the contrast.
34:03 "Because thou sayest," what?
34:05 "I am rich, increased with goods,
34:08 have need of nothing and knowest not
34:11 that thou art wretched and miserable
34:15 and poor and blind," and what else?
34:19 "And naked."
34:20 Notice that when they look at themselves,
34:25 they see themselves as being what?
34:28 Rich, increased with goods and in need of nothing
34:34 but when God puts the spotlight on them,
34:37 God sees something different.
34:40 He says what I see is somebody who is wretched,
34:44 who's miserable, who's poor, who's blind, who's naked.
34:51 Isn't it funny how when we look at ourselves,
34:54 we can always see the good in us,
34:56 so, but when God looks at us,
34:58 He sees far more than we see of our own selves.
35:05 The Laodiceans prided themselves
35:11 on their material prosperity.
35:15 Back in chapter 2 of Revelation 2,
35:18 there was a church mentioned there called Smyrna.
35:22 And Smyrna, Smyrna has commendation from God
35:26 because they are in fact,
35:28 that's the church of persecution,
35:30 they are in fact, materially bereft.
35:35 However, they are spiritually rich.
35:40 What a contrast, to Laodicea
35:42 who is materially rich
35:45 but God says, you are spiritually poor.
35:50 God will always straighten us out
35:52 if we can't see ourselves the way we really are.
35:56 Look at verse 18, look at verse 18.
35:58 "I counsel thee to buy of me," what?
36:02 "Gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be," what?
36:07 "Rich and white raiment, thou mayest be clothed,
36:10 and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear
36:17 and anoint thine eyes with, "what?
36:19 "Eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
36:24 God's solution for their problem is,
36:29 you got to look again.
36:33 You got to take another look.
36:35 According to the ancient Greek geographer Strabo,
36:40 residing within the city of Laodicea,
36:44 was a renown ophthalmologist who was known
36:49 for his eye lotions that were made
36:52 out of the Phrygian powder. He had a way.
36:59 Somehow he had built a reputation of helping people
37:03 to see clearer through this powder.
37:08 No doubt if he were around today,
37:11 he would not be using Phrygian powder,
37:15 but in fact, he would be using
37:17 another method to improve sight.
37:19 That method would be called what? Lasiks.
37:26 If he were correct, technically correct
37:28 in his profession, then he would stay abreast
37:31 with the most modern conveniences and prescription.
37:36 He would be using Lasiks surgery.
37:41 Now Lasiks, I am told is a surgery
37:45 where a laser is used,
37:47 a laser beam is used to reshape the tissue of the cornea.
37:54 And by reshaping the tissue of the cornea,
37:58 it is supposed to render the individual
38:01 with the ability to see clearer up
38:04 than when they first gave here to the doctor.
38:08 In other words,
38:09 they can take their glasses off and throw them down.
38:13 I'm not going to do that this morning
38:15 or somebody else will have to finish the message.
38:21 You can take, you take, what's those little things?
38:26 Contact lenses.
38:27 Contact lenses.
38:29 And just flick them out the window
38:33 after you have Lasiks surgery supposedly.
38:39 Today, today, today God has asked us
38:44 to come to Him and rather than to use
38:49 the ancient methods of their day,
38:51 God wants to use a Lasiks on our eyesight today.
38:58 I want you to see.
38:59 It was in the scripture reading that Morgan today
39:02 in Romans 5:8.
39:04 It's my favorite passage.
39:06 It says, "But God hath commendeth His love toward us,
39:10 in that, while we were," what?
39:12 "Yet sinners." "Yet sinners."
39:14 What did Christ do?
39:16 "Christ died for us."
39:18 Introspection is birth to redemption.
39:22 The only way you will be able to see
39:26 God's love in its full clarity is to remove the mask,
39:33 remove the blinders, remove the buffers,
39:39 remove the filters that we place on ourselves,
39:43 so that we can really see ourselves.
39:46 The only way you can appreciate God's love
39:49 in all of its fullness and ferity
39:52 is to see it juxtaposed against --
39:56 when I know how bad I smell.
40:00 When I know how bad I look,
40:03 when I know how messed up I really am,
40:07 when I know that I'm no better than a roach
40:11 and yet my passage tells me that God sees me
40:16 in a totally different way.
40:18 He knows I'm a sinner.
40:20 He knows I'm messed up and yet,
40:22 the Bible says God loves me so much
40:25 while I am still messed up.
40:27 That He gave His Son to die for me.
40:31 What He wants us to do is to submit to a Lasiks,
40:36 a Lasiks treatment
40:37 and He wants to use His cross as the laser machine.
40:42 He wants to use His grace as laser beam
40:46 so that every time we look at the cross
40:49 our eyesight will be clearer, our focus will be clearer,
40:54 our understanding of ourselves will be clearer
40:57 if we can somehow get that grace beam into our eyes
41:02 and allow the Lord to do with us
41:04 what He wants to do.
41:07 Everything that God does, listen to this, listen to this.
41:12 Everything that God does communicates to us two things.
41:19 Number one, He loves us
41:24 and secondly, He misses us.
41:29 He loves us and secondly He misses us.
41:35 Can you imagine a being who lives in environment
41:42 where there are thousands upon thousands
41:44 and ten thousands of angels that just stay
41:49 around praising His name?
41:52 Well, there are four beasts
41:56 and their whole job is to sing praise Him, holy,
42:03 halleluiah and yet according to my Bible,
42:09 he loves me and misses me even when I'm not praising Him,
42:16 even when I'm not thinking about Him,
42:19 even when my life is wandered away from Him,
42:22 and yet, He can somehow look through
42:25 all the celebration and the cacophonies of heaven
42:30 and still place His focus on me
42:33 and said I love you so much
42:37 I can't wait till we're back together again.
42:41 Just a few days ago we just finished
42:43 celebrating a holiday.
42:44 When was it?
42:46 Christmas. Christmas.
42:48 And the angel said,
42:49 "You shall call His name Immanuel,
42:53 which being interpreted," as what?
42:56 "God with us." I love you and I miss you.
43:01 When man sinned and the Father and the Son
43:05 and the Holy Ghost went into the counsel of peace,
43:08 Jesus volunteered to step forward and to become
43:12 my substitute and sacrifice in my instead.
43:16 He said, I'll go down, Father.
43:19 I'll become the great go well, the bridge builder,
43:22 the one who go between
43:24 because I love them and I miss them.
43:28 When He came here as a baby
43:32 and he went up Golgotha slopes,
43:36 He allowed Himself to be hung on that ignominious cross.
43:40 He hung there when He could have come down.
43:42 He stayed up there
43:44 because what He wanted us to know was that I love you,
43:48 and I miss you.
43:50 In fact, He miss us so much that after they took him down
43:54 and put Him in a pothole grave,
43:56 He was only in there over the weekend, you know.
43:58 But He got up early one Sunday morning
44:01 because He wanted to say, I can't stay in there sleeping
44:05 because I love and I miss you
44:08 and just before He went back into heaven in AD 31,
44:14 He stopped long enough to say,
44:16 "Let not your heart be troubled.
44:18 Ye believe in God, believe also in me.
44:21 In my Father's house are many mansions.
44:23 If it were not so, I would have told you.
44:25 I am going to prepare a place for you
44:27 and if I go to prepare a place for you,"
44:30 what I'm gonna do?
44:31 "I will come again."
44:33 Why? Because I love you and I miss you.
44:38 We miss every celebration.
44:42 He says, "As often as ye eat this bread
44:47 and drink this cup," you do what?
44:51 "You show Lord's death till he comes."
44:55 Every time we sin at the table,
44:59 we ought to be reminded of what He said,
45:01 "I'm not gonna eat anymore bread or drink anymore wine
45:06 until I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
45:10 Why? Because I love you and I miss you.
45:15 Every time the Sabbath comes around,
45:19 once a week, sun down Friday to sundown Saturday,
45:23 the reason that He asks us to remember
45:26 the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
45:28 "Six days shall thou labor and do all thy work
45:31 but the seventh day
45:32 is the Sabbath to the Lord thy God.
45:35 In it thou shalt not do any work."
45:38 Because I love you and I miss you
45:42 and I want you to spend time with me.
45:45 The reason He is coming back a second time
45:48 is because He loves us and He misses us.
45:55 And that's what behind the introspection.
46:02 Introspection gives birth to resolutions,
46:05 introspection gives birth to recrimination,
46:07 introspection gives birth to revelations,
46:11 introspection gives birth to revelations.
46:15 I want to close by telling you about Keasha
46:21 Her given name was Lakeasha Monique Rutledge.
46:28 She was 38 years old,
46:33 38, unmarried.
46:37 But the day came when a man proposed her
46:41 and asked, "Will you marry me?"
46:45 And she said, "Yes."
46:50 She was married this past November 27
46:54 in a well decorated church in Atlanta, Georgia.
46:59 Like many women,
47:01 she couldn't wait to put on her wedding gown,
47:05 couldn't wait to have her maids of honor around her,
47:10 couldn't wait to come down the midway
47:15 and so the wedding guests showed up
47:17 and they waited and they stood,
47:19 when they heard the chorus played,
47:22 "Here comes the bride, here comes the bride."
47:25 And they stood up as Keasha came down aisle
47:29 But there was something about Keasha.
47:33 Keasha was coming down the aisle in a wheel chair.
47:37 Not just a wheel chair,
47:39 but she was also tethered to an oxygen tank.
47:44 She came all the way to the front.
47:47 And before she got to her husband to be,
47:51 she stood up and made the last three steps
47:57 to the side of her husband.
48:00 What I didn't tell you was
48:03 that Keasha was dying of terminal lung cancer.
48:10 When they got to the front,
48:12 they had provided two chairs for them to sit down
48:16 because just to stand up required too much air.
48:21 And so they sat down,
48:25 "Do you take this man to be your husband?"
48:29 "Do you take this woman to be your wife."
48:33 "I now pronounce you man and wife."
48:36 And they bent over in the chair and kissed each other.
48:41 Like any other bride, she wanted a reception
48:44 and so they wheeled her to the reception room.
48:46 She had enough strength to do have a dance with her daddy
48:51 and a dance with her new husband.
48:55 You should've seen the joy on her face.
49:00 After 38 years of singleness,
49:06 her single life had now become a shared life.
49:10 That was on November 27th.
49:13 This past Tuesday of this week, December 27th, Keasha died.
49:22 Just one month later,
49:26 she passed away.
49:30 Someone asked her husband,
49:34 "Why did you marry her
49:38 when you knew she was going to die?"
49:43 It wasn't like he couldn't get anyone.
49:44 He was an ex-NFL football player.
49:49 He had played for five different teams
49:52 over 12 year period.
49:53 His name was Chris Draft.
49:58 Chris tried to sum it up at her funeral.
50:02 This is what he said at her funeral
50:03 as to why he did it.
50:06 Chris said about his wife,
50:08 "She courageously faced lung cancer showing us all
50:13 with every breath that we all need to hold on to life
50:18 and love with both hands for as long as we can.
50:22 Not just an inspiration,
50:25 but a light and a force that led the way
50:27 with the beautiful sweet smile and bright shining eyes
50:31 that both belied the pure steel
50:34 of her strength and determination.
50:37 Strong is too pale, too shallow
50:40 and too small of a word to describe Keasha's vibrancy.
50:44 Quite simply she was ferocious,
50:46 she fiercely held on to life and loved with a forcefulness
50:51 that was absolutely all inspiring
50:54 and completely breathtaking.
50:56 Rest in peace, Mrs. Draft."
51:10 Do you know that God loves you?
51:17 Do you know that God misses you?
51:22 I'm not talking about the person
51:24 over there in the back up here.
51:29 God loves you
51:33 and God misses you.
51:39 If you can't see that,
51:43 then stand before cross.
51:48 Let Him perform His Lasik surgery on you.
51:51 Let His grace penetrate the dark coffins of your pupil.
51:55 Let the light of His love come down and permeate
51:59 the one million or more optical receptors
52:02 of your spiritual retina and have the windows of light,
52:07 we call sight open before you
52:10 so that you can see, so that you can see.
52:17 The way I know that God loves me
52:22 is not by all the good I do, it's by the bad I do.
52:29 And when I know that God loves me,
52:32 wretched Laodicea, is because I'm still here.
52:38 I haven't gone anywhere.
52:42 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed.
52:46 Great is His faithfulness.
52:50 Don't you realize that the moment you sin,
52:54 the moment you sin,
52:58 that there is a process in place that says,
53:01 "You should die in the moment."
53:03 And the day you touch it, you should die and yet,
53:09 God keeps forgiving you over and over
53:14 and over and over again.
53:17 How many times have you asked God
53:20 to forgive you of the same sin and He keeps doing it
53:25 over and over and over again
53:29 because I've discovered that He's a God of second,
53:36 third, fourth, fifth, twenty,
53:41 twenty-five, thirty, a hundred chances.
53:46 God will give you as many chances as you need
53:49 in order for Him to save you.
53:53 That's what it's all about.
53:55 The Lasiks is to open your eye so that you can see His love
54:00 and understand through His leading in your life
54:04 how much He cares about you
54:10 and how much He misses you.
54:12 And so I'm going to be just be very plain today.
54:17 There maybe someone who's here today in City Temple.
54:22 You've gone all the way through 2011,
54:25 I don't know what your age is,
54:28 but God has brought you through life
54:31 and today you're sitting here and you recognize,
54:35 I've got to do something really interesting text.
54:38 I'll have to do something different.
54:41 There is absolutely no reason for me to be totally
54:44 lost 'cause He loves me and He misses me.
54:49 I've just been too blind to see that.
54:52 But today, something, something,
54:54 I've caught a flash
54:57 in my spiritual view and today,
55:00 you want to call me to the altar and say,
55:02 "Pastor, I want to accept Jesus Christ
55:07 as my personal Savior, my personal Savior
55:11 for the first time or all over again,
55:16 because I messed up and I need another chance."
55:21 So I want to do that today.
55:23 Stand on your feet so that somebody can move by,
55:24 you just stand where you are.
55:26 Stand up.
55:28 Stand so people can move by
55:30 and if you need to come, just stand.
55:33 All the congregation to stand.
55:36 Let somebody by who needs to come, you need to come today
55:40 and get something straight with God.
55:42 Let's sing.
55:45 All to Jesus
55:53 I surrender
55:55 All to Him I freely give
56:00 Don't let this year end,
56:03 don't let this Sabbath end,
56:05 don't let this day end until you come
56:10 and make your calling in relationship,
56:12 why don't you accept the God?
56:14 He loves you so much and misses you so much
56:20 that He will leave the glories of heaven to come down here
56:24 in this dark and murky world just to make sure
56:28 you will have an opportunity to live with Him eternally.
56:32 Do you need to come here, do you need to come.
56:38 This is your last Sabbath.
56:41 I don't know what God has planned for you,
56:45 you think you'll be here
56:46 tomorrow to see the new year, will you?
56:51 Or do you hear the Spirit's voice
56:53 speaking to you first to tell
56:54 you need to come to the altar today.
56:57 Where are you at?
56:59 You need to come to me.
57:00 Where are you at? You need to come.
57:02 You need to come forward.
57:03 First time, you need to come all over here.
57:06 I don't know who you are.
57:09 I don't know who you are.
57:11 I just know that you--
57:12 There's someone here that God
57:14 is trying to call before the end of 2011.
57:17 Where are you at?
57:20 Where are you?